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Notice and Information to the Public Regarding Proposed Waiver Requests

On October 11, 2018, USDA provided guidance regarding the status of nationwide waivers of statutory and regulatory requirements in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) (SFSP 01-2019), Summer Food Service Program Memoranda Rescission. This guidance rescinded many waivers intended to streamline operation of SFSP.  TDA believes the impact of this rescission will reduce efficiencies Texas sponsors have gained and may reduce a sponsor’s ability to provide access to summer meals for low income children throughout Texas.  As a result, TDA is requesting statewide waivers from USDA of the federal regulations listed below.

First Week Site Visit
  1. For (a) returning sites that operated successfully during the previous summer (or other most recent period of operation) and had no serious deficiency findings and (b) SFSP sponsors in good standing in CACFP and NSLP, the requirement that sponsors shall visit each of their sites at least once during the first week of operation. 7 CFR 225.15(d)(2)

NOTE:  TDA will consider a returning sponsor/site to have operated successfully during the previous summer (or other most recent period of operation) if it does not owe a debt to the state agency, none of its funds are on hold, or it is not in serious deficiency.

  1. For sites operating one week or less, the requirement that sponsors shall visit each of their sites at least once during the first week of operation.  7 CFR 225.15(d)(2)

NOTE:  TDA will continue to require sponsors to conduct a review of food service operations at each of its sites at least once during the first four weeks of operation as required in 7 CFR 225.15(d)(3).  This includes sites that may operate for only one week or less.

Time Restrictions for Meal Service

  1. The requirement that three hours must elapse between the beginning of one meal service, including snacks, and the beginning of another, except that 4 hours must elapse between the service of a lunch and supper when no snack is served between lunch and supper and the requirement that the service of supper may not extend beyond 8 p.m.     7 CFR 225.16(c)(1)

NOTE:  TDA would continue to require sponsors to establish meal time for each site and provide this information to the agency to allow for effective oversight.  Notwithstanding unanticipated events outside a sponsor’s control, meals must be served within the approved meal service times in order to be claimed for reimbursement and for the cost associated with meals to be covered by SFSP funds.  Unanticipated events may include, but are not limited to:  extremely late deliveries, buses breaking down, and delays due to traffic and other circumstances.

  1. The requirement that the duration of the meal service shall be limited to two hours for lunch or supper and one hour for all other meals.  7 CFR 225.16(c)(2)

Eligibility for Closed Enrolled Sites

  1. The requirement that closed enrolled are eligible based on documentation that at least half of the enrolled children at each site are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. 7 CFR 225.15(f)(1)

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Texas Department of Agriculture
Commissioner Sid Miller